Spraying pesticides on some roses that have a bug problem isn’t a major issue. But when it comes to applying pesticides to plants you will actually consume, there’s a reason to be more cautious.
Not only are there specific requirements and certifications that pesticide products must meet to be used on plants meant for ingestion. As a grower, one should strive to avoid products that may end up harmful to the final product your consumer buys and eventually, well, consumes!
So how do you know which products are safe to use? In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) maintains a current list of all approved pesticides for plants grown for consumption, but what if your state doesn’t have the same rules? This is where product knowledge and ingredients are important.
Here are the top 5 pesticides that Cultivate recommends for safely dealing with pest problems in your grow or garden, without risking the health of yourself or others when harvest time comes around.
Green Cleaner kills broad mites, russet mites, spider mites and their eggs, aphids, thrips, white flies and powdery mildew on contact. This safe & all-natural, 100 percent concentrate product can be used as a solution to dip tender new cuttings in, to prevent garden contamination when outsourcing plant starts, and can be used from start through harvest as a treatment.
Green Cleaner’s organic soybean oil and sodium lauryl sulfate blend acts to quickly suffocate pests, such as spider mites, broad mites, and russet mites, while the sodium lauryl sulfate coats bugs to immobilize them. While not a pest, Green Cleaner is also very effective against the common fungus, powdery mildew.
Azamax is great for broad spectrum insect and spider mite control.General Hydroponics AzaMax contains 1.2% Azadirachtin, an antifeedant and insect growth regulator (IGR) that controls pests through starvation and growth disruption.
Azamax works just as well as synthetic insecticides, but without the environmental impact, and it can be applied up to the time or day of harvest. It’s also listed as OMRI certified organic, so you can get extra peace of mind knowing Azamax is safe to use on your plants.
Especially popular with commercial scale growers, Evergreen Pyrethrum Concentrate is a water-based insecticide that delivers flushing, fast knockdown and kill of more than 140 commercial and residential pests, including cockroaches, stored product pests, flies, mosquitoes, spiders, ants and fleas.
Evergreen’s active ingredient is an unsynthesized pure pyrethrum; a botanical insecticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers. Evergreen Pyrethrum only kills insects on contact and does not have a long-term residual so you don’t need to worry about any residue on your final harvest.
Big Time Exterminator is an all natural pesticide made with a proprietary blend of naturally occurring ingredients that control all stages of mites and insects. This product works on all hard and soft bodied insects, including broad mites, russet mites, spider mites, whiteflies, fungus gnats, aphids and root aphids.
Big Time Exterminator can be used up to the day of harvest due to its all natural, organic ingredients. These ingredients break down into inert compounds within 48 hours and leave no oily residue, smell or taste making Big Time Exterminator 100% safe for all plants and humans, just not insects!
Neemix 4.5 is another insect growth regulator (IGR), which means that it controls targeted insect larvae by interfering with the insects’ ability to molt. It is effective on all larval and pupae stages, but It also reduces damage by repelling and deterring feeding of all stages of insects.
Since Neemix focuses on destroying the larvae and young insects, the ability of the pests to reproduce is eliminated. Neemix is deadly to sucking and chewing insect pests, yet has minimal impact on non-target beneficial species, so you don’t need to worry about taking out the good bugs while you take out the bad bugs.